The deadline for this year’s taxes has been pushed from April 15 to July 15 due to the coronavirus, so Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj took some time to highlight how the supposedly free and efficient online tax-filing service TurboTax sucks very, very much. Ugh, so much. “For a lot of customers, TurboTax Free Edition is not free. They may tell you it’s free, you may think it’s free, but TurboTax uses all kinds of deceptive tactics to make sure that you pay,” Minhaj says before demonstrating how the site, despite slapping the word “free” pretty much everywhere, ultimately forces users into paying for the very not free Deluxe version at some point in the lengthy filing process when they start to enter payments for things like student loans, tuition, child care, or filing for unemployment.
TurboTax has made it ridiculously complicated to find the actual free part of the service — even making sure to hide it from Google results — but Minhaj explains that “IRS Free File Program Delivered by TurboTax” is the free one, while “Intuit TurboTax Free Edition” is, despite the name, the not-free one. And this deception has, of course, made TurboTax a ton of money over the years. TurboTax used this same trick when the IRS agreed to allow the company to help people get their coronavirus stimulus checks earlier this year too — and yes, they made lots of money from it. One would think the IRS would fight back against this, but their power has been stripped down so much over the past decade that it “doesn’t have the money or manpower to go toe-to-toe with the tax-prep industry,” Minhaj says.
Minhaj explains there are ways to make taxes free and easier, like return-free filing, in which the government sends taxpayers a filled-out form and all they need to do is check a few boxes, sign it, then return it. So why hasn’t this very non-divisive issue been fixed yet? The answer comes back to the powerful company behind TurboTax, Intuit, which has lobbied hard against the implementation of return-free filing. “TurboTax sucks ass,” Minhaj concludes. “If only there was a company that didn’t lie to you — that just gave you the free-file options for free. Luckily, someone started that company.” Patriot Act is proud to introduce TurboTaxSucksAss.com, where you can skip over all of TurboTax’s trickery and access the free-filing options directly. Happy filing!